By Noah Barkin BERLIN (Reuters) - Six years ago, weeks after U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, European leaders gathered in Paris to discuss a joint response to the financial earthquake shaking their continent. France and several other states pushed for the creation of a European fund to help the bloc cope. Germany's Angela Merkel ruled out a common approach, insisting that each country come up with its own plan to combat what would turn out to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In his new book "Is Europe Failing?", former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer traces what he describes as a dangerous unraveling of the European project back to the events in Paris in October 2008. The decision represented a break with decades of post-war German policy and has set the bloc on a perilous path of "renationalization" that could tear it apart in the years to come, Fischer believes. At home, Merkel is hugely popular for her defense of German interests during the euro crisis. But Fischer sees a reactive chancellor who instead of rallying skeptical Germans behind Europe, has unwittingly turned them against the bloc. "The big question is whether we are moving towards a German Europe or continuing on the post-war path of a European Germany," Fischer told Reuters in his office overlooking the Gendarmenmarkt square in central Berlin. "Even today no one knows what Merkel's goal is, what Europe she wants to have," he said. Merkel's supporters point to the fact that as Europe's dominant politician she has presided over a turbulent period during which political will has consistently been summoned to keep the euro zone together, confounding the expectations of many doom-mongers. Fischer, 66, has been out of politics since 2005, when Merkel ended his seven-year reign as Germany's top diplomat and vice chancellor by narrowly defeating Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder. During his time in office he broke with the pacifist traditions of his Greens party and supported sending German troops to the Balkans, the country's first foreign combat operations since World War Two. Along with Schroeder, he opposed the 2003 U.S. war in Iraq, famously staring down Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld at a conference and telling him: "Excuse me, I am not convinced". In recent years Fischer has been criticized in the German media for betraying his roots as a student activist and founding figure in the environmentalist Greens by accepting corporate sponsorship deals with firms like carmaker BMW. But he remains one of the most respected German voices on foreign affairs and his strong criticism of Merkel's course comes at a crucial time when Europe looks on the verge of sinking back into crisis. KEY MOMENT Despite a weakening economy at home and in Europe, Merkel and her government remain focused on consolidating the German budget, putting Berlin on a collision course with its partners. "If you look at the economic figures, one has to ask oneself how much longer the austerity policies can continue, whether they will survive the first half of next year. I have serious doubts about that," said Fischer. "We are at a key moment, with Europe emerging once again as the weak spot in the world economy. German policy has to change," he said. Without a common approach, he predicts the bloc will face a political crisis in which anti-European populists like Marine Le Pen of France's National Front and Nigel Farage of Britain's UK Independence Party gain the upper hand. More Europe is also his answer to the Ukraine crisis. In his book, Fischer calls on Germany to revive the idea of a common European security and defense policy and to invest more in joint European arms programs. The EU needs to completely rethink its relations with Vladimir Putin's Russia, Fischer argues, reducing its dependence on Russian gas through the creation of an "energy union" that mutualizes supply risks. "Germany is as strong as it's ever been since the founding of the Federal Republic in 1949, but in relation to the rest of the world we are in economic decline, just as France and the UK are in political decline in power terms," Fischer said. "Europe is our best investment. We would be the biggest losers if we allowed the project to fail." (Editing by Mike Peacock)
"I’m... embarrassed in a certain sense because, you know, this has become a little bit of a scandal for President Trump,” Fuentes noted on his podcast.
- The Independent
Zeta-Jones also recalled having lunch with the Queen Consort years before her marriage to King Charles III
- Associated Press
The extended Senate campaign in Georgia between the Democratic incumbent, Raphael Warnock, and his Republican challenger, football legend Herschel Walker, has grown increasingly bitter as their Dec. 6 runoff nears. With Democrats already assured a Senate majority, it’s a striking contrast from two years ago, when the state's twin runoffs were mostly about which party would control the chamber in Washington. “Herschel Walker ain’t serious,” Warnock told supporters recently in central Georgia, saying that Walker “majors in lying” and fumbles the basics of public policy.
“So I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black,” Trump wrote Saturday, offering “very much needed ‘advice.’”
- Good Housekeeping
While attending the 2021 Venice International Film Festival, 'Persuasion' actress Dakota Johnson left fans speechless with a see-through crystal dress.
- College Football News
AP top 25 poll, college football rankings prediction, Week 14 What will it be on Sunday morning?
Photos of thousands of people who got naked on iconic Bondi Beach for a nude shoot to raise skin cancer awareness
The 2,500-person crowd at Spencer Tunick's latest art installation represented the number of Australians who die from skin cancer each year.
- College Football News
Bowl Projections and College Football Playoff Picks after Week 13. They're the last bowl projections before the reveal next Sunday.
- The Daily Beast
ANDRI TAMBUNANA long-awaited Thanksgiving feast turned into an unimaginable nightmare for one New Mexico family after out-of-town relatives arrived to find the host “dismembered and disemboweled.”Family members of Karlan and Connie Denio are now left struggling to make sense of how the planned holiday ended with him under arrest for her murder.The day had seemed to be going exactly as planned while relatives made their way to the couple’s home in Albuquerque on Thursday afternoon, with Connie De
- The Wrap
Watch Biden’s Short and Not-So Sweet Reaction to Trump’s Meeting With White Supremacist Nick Fuentes (Video)
Both sides of the aisle are taking swings at the former president’s “canoodling” with the known neo-Nazi
Glenn Kirschner issued a damning critique of the former vice president's refusal to testify before the House Jan. 6 committee.
- Yahoo Movies
'The Bodyguard' at 30: Kevin Costner says there were warnings against casting Whitney Houston because she was Black
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- USA TODAY
The fleet of vehicles discontinued in 2022 includes a number of passenger cars, as Americans continue to flock to SUVs.
- Buckeyes Wire
ESPN updates its College Football Power Rankings after Rivalry Week. Has Ohio State falling behind two-loss SEC team.
An updated look at where Ohio State is in ESPN's updated College Football Playoff Rankings after Week 13 and the end of the regular season. #GoBucks
- The Daily Beast
Samir Hussein/WireImageWelcome to this week’s edition of Royalist, The Daily Beast’s newsletter for all things royal and Royal Family. Subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Sunday.Queen died while suffering from cancer, author saysQueen Elizabeth was suffering through cancer in the last months of her life, according to well-connected author Gyles Brandreth. Brandreth, in his new book Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait, the Daily Mail reported, writes: “I had heard that the queen had a form o
- Fox News
Police reveal new details about why they believe the slayings of four University of Idaho students in their sleep in mid-November was a "targeted" attack.
Donald Trump's son received some blunt reminders about the former president on Twitter.
- USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State was one of four teams in the top 10 to lose in Week 13. How far will the Buckeyes and others fall? Our coaches poll prediction addresses.
Many of Donald Trump's legal problems are coming to an end as he launches his 3rd presidential run — but the biggest risks remain
Donald Trump still faces open-ended investigations related to the 2020 election and taking government documents — but he's swept away other headaches.
Trump has said "over and over ... that he will pardon January 6 defendants when he becomes president again," the U.S. representative tweeted.